SARASOTA (FOX 13) - Anyone who plans a trip to the beach this weekend should know, officials have issued health and no swim advisories due to high levels of bacteria and algae at beaches in Hillsborough, Pinellas and Sarasota counties.
In Sarasota County, high levels of enterococcus bacteria was found during water quality testing on Wednesday, September 28. Those beaches include Longboat Key, Siesta Beach, Turtle Beach, Nokomis Beach and North Jetty. Follow-up test results for these beaches will be available Friday, Sept. 30 at https://ourgulfenvironment.scgov.net/Pages/default.aspx.
In addition to the bacteria, Red Tide Advisory signs are posted at all Sarasota County beaches due to a bloom off the coast.
In Sarasota County, the beaches remain open, but wading, swimming and water recreation is not recommended as long as there is an advisory. People are also encouraged to read the signage and heed flags when present at area beaches.
In Pinellas County, Yellow Flags are flying along Clearwater and Caladesi Island beaches, indicating a moderate risk for red tide algae.
Testing for the beach conditions reporting system does not test at many of Pinellas County's southern beaches, but reports of red tide, foul smells and dead fish have been reported at St. Pete, Madeira and Treasure Island beaches. Scientists told FOX 13 News it was all likely due to red tide.
In Hillsborough County, a health advisory was issued for Ben T. Davis Beach because samples taken Monday, Sept. 26 showed high levels of enteric bacteria, which is normally found in the intestinal tract of humans and animals.
The advisory issued September 14 for E.G. Simmons Park beach also remains in effect. City officials said beaches will be re-sampled, Monday, October 4.